THE Twin Sails Bridge is going to be closed until the autumn after yet another technical fault was found.

The bridge is currently in the upright position after a problem on the Hamworthy side of the structure.

The bridge has been operating on one lifting ram following removal of the bearing and large pin earlier this year.

A new pin is being manufactured at the moment. It is due to be fitted this autumn. 

Following a noise heard coming from the remaining lifting ram on August 3, engineers attended and decided there was serious risk of longer term damage to Twin Sails if it was kept in operation. 

Officials from BCP Council have this morning said the bridge will remain shut to traffic and pedestrians until the autumn.

Julian McLaughlin, BCP Council's director for growth and infrastructure, said: “The current situation is most unfortunate but with two faults on the same side of the bridge we have no choice but to halt its operation until repaired. We have a duty to maintain and protect the structure of the bridge.

“At present our engineers are working hard to replace the first pin so that further examination of the second pin can then progress.

"Effort is being made with third parties to bring the bridge back into service as soon as possible. In the meantime, Poole Bridge is operational and open to all road users.”

Councillor Andy Hadley, portfolio holder for transport and infrastructure, said: “While this will inconvenience and frustrate many people, including myself, I am confident that the engineers are doing everything possible to fix the issue and ensure Twin Sails is not further damaged, and is safe to use.

“We have legal obligations to keep the channel open for boats, especially the RNLI and Sunseeker who need to be able to operate, so we have to close Twin Sails to traffic until new parts can be supplied. Thankfully we still have Poole Bridge available.”

The traffic lights at Blandford Road and Rigler Road in Hamworthy have been changed north to south to help manage traffic flows in the area until Twin Sails is back in service. Please take extra care when approaching these lights due to the priority change.

The bridge will be left in the upright position to enable marine access through the channel. In the event of strong winds, it will be lowered but remain out of action and re-lifted when conditions improve.